Rosemary Vogt

Date of Award

January 2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Daniel Rice


The recent oil boom in western North Dakota’s Bakken formation in the Williston Basin resulted in numerous opportunities for skilled professionals (for which an academic credential is required) in petroleum engineering. Oil and gas industries operating in the state approached leaders at the University of North Dakota (UND) with the request to develop a petroleum engineering program for the purpose of contributing to the need for a skilled workforce in the state. In 2012, the North Dakota State Board of Higher Education approved a new Department of Petroleum Engineering at the University of North Dakota. What is unknown or understood to a lesser degree is how the development of the Petroleum Engineering program progressed: the relationship between drivers of the program development, the interaction between various stakeholders, and the process of developing a new degree program. It is important to know how universities develop new degree programs to meet the needs of industry, as it is plausible that in the future more university degree programs will be created to better prepare students for future employment. This qualitative case study documents the perceptions of selected key participants associated with the development of the Petroleum Engineering program at UND. Twenty-one individuals participated in this study including administrators, current and former faculty, students and industry executives. Open-ended questions linked to the literature and the Innovation System Framework prompted participants to reflect on their

experiences. The study validates the importance of higher education sensitivity to regional needs and the significance of successful collaboration between stakeholders. The study also examines innovation alignment with innovation driver, the innovative behavior and the end result of innovative behavior.